Open’er Wednesday – Fisz Emade, New Order, Ting Tings, Orbital, Soja

The first day of the Open’er in Gdynia was blessed by the fact that it did not rain for the whole evening. There was plenty of music to fit in on this first day of 2012. First up at 17:00 Dune in the Big tent played a rhythmic set showing their inventiveness and tight playing. The range of Robert’s voice also impressive when at times he would be singing with a kind of Mongolian deep throaty voice and at others clear and assertive forceful lyrics.

Fisz Emade came on the main stage whilst Matt and Joanna were still trying to find there way through to the guest entrance having been put on the Orbital guest list. The Fisz Emade concert gave everyone in the ensemble a spotlight and showed off one of the great talents of the Waglewski brothers to collaborate with cross-over sounds and music blending elements of rock guitar with jazz and classical keyboard. By the way Mariusz Obijalski (I think it was him) on keyboard – was playing a really cool Wurlitzer “Student electronic piano”. So pile all of that in with great mixing and Fisz’s terrific lyrics and delivery and a great start to the evening.

Soja on the World Stage had a great sound which I could maybe describe as reggae/brass. They were really together and I felt like I was watching and listening to today’s music and not a reincarnation of some previous reggae band. Soja were from Washington DC and had a great sax/trumpet section and killer bass.

By this time Matt and Joanna had finally manoeuvred the guest list and had their arm-bands and we met to watch Bjork who always seems to build a concert set with a different angle on it. This time she was supported by a female choir of about 20 who supported and complimented Bjorks lead vocal and they seemed to be having a great time there in the choir’s section of the stage – I almost felt like I wanted to join them! Bjork successfully mixed pieces void of rhythm with sections of very powerful heavy bass/synth and drums sometimes swooping back again into very choral sections. The visuals were also really complementary and not just an enlargement of the stage TV.

New Order played through many of there songs and very competently although they did seem a might incongruous visually. From New Order on the main stage we moved to the Big Tent for The Ting Tings who repeated the atmosphere from the last time at the Opener. The whole tent was moving and the band got a great reception. There were some new songs but “Shut up and Let Me Go” and the final song “That’s not my Name” went down the best.

Finally, at 1:30 Orbital came on in the Big tent and with a great light show provided a powerful close to the first day. They played material from 1993 including opening with “Time Becomes” and also a medley which had samples from “You Give Love a Bad Name” by the band Bon Jovi, “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle (because they both use a very similar chord sequence to one of the bands pieces), “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by the band The Darkness. That finished around 3:00 am.

So the first day kicked off really well and in between the acts mentioned above there were plenty of acts to check out fleetingly or for longer on the ‘Talents Stage’ – Sjon look to have prospects and later an interesting female/male duo playing sax/vocal guitar called DVA caught my attention. Some of the musicians in the Alter Space were also getting good crowds.

So a pretty good evening. A bit of a lack of places to get coffee – no lack of beer, some mud and no rain but tons of good music!

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